Ngati DVD

Ngati - 1987

Pacific Films - 90 min.

DVD UPC/EAN # 9418212008263

Cast: Michael Tibble, Oliver Jones, Wi Kuki Kaa, Kiri McCorkindale, Judy McIntosh, Norman Fletcher, Alice Fraser, Ross Girven, Iranui Haig, Ngawai Harrison, Connie Pewhairangi, Tuta Ngarimu Tamati.
Screenplay: Tama Poata; Photography: Rory O'Shea; Editor: Dell King; Music Producer: Bob Smith w/ Dalvanius; Producer: John O'Shea; Director: Barry Barclay.

In 1947 a recently graduated doctor (Greg) is visiting an East Coast Maori settlement in which his doctor father use to practice. He learns that his late mother was a local Maori. The local schoolteacher, whose father was formerly in practice with Greg's father, introduces Greg to the community, and he gradually loses his smugness and somewhat racist attitudes. The community is threatened by the closure of the local freezing works, but the local manager proposes the community buy the works. The death of a leukemia inflected child results in a funeral conducted by the Tohunga which helps bring the community together. The was the first NZ feature made principally by Maori and used more non-actors than professionals. Wonderful photography and music. A somewhat rough script but recommended.

Censor Rating: PG - Review Rating: B-

Official MP4 Trailer


PAL vhs of this title is OOP, however a PAL R0 DVD is available from NZ resellers for $10-15nz. It is presented in its original 1.78:1 format with a DD 5.1 English soundtrack. Except for some Maori dialogue, there are no subtitles. There are no extras. There are no NTSC vhs or DVD versions.

Aro Video of Wellington has rental copies available for any New Zealand address

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Reviews at

Wellington Film Society Review

New Zealand Film Commission Synopsis

Four Word Film Review

IMDB User Comments

New Zealand Film Archive Info and Reviews

"It's about being Maori - and that is political [...] political in the way it was made, a serious attempt to have Maori attitudes control the film. Political in having as many Maori as possible on it or being trained on it. Political in physically distributing the film or speaking about it and showing the film in our own way. Political in going in the face of a long tradition in the film industry here and abroad saying these simple things, without car chases or without a rape scene, actually have appeal, maybe it won't work... I think a lot of the political struggle is to get through to pakehas and Pakeha institutions that this is the way we think, therefore change your manners. This is the Maori world, take it or leave it..." - (Barry Barclay in, Rongotai Lomas, "A First for the Maori Ngati", Illusions, no.5, 1987)

"Ngati is a deceptively gentle film. Its images are composed with a wistful and pensive restraint and its pace is easy and friendly. Yet bubbling beneath its surface is the most powerful political statement about Maoridom - and by extension all indigenous culture - our cinema has yet managed" - (Peter Calder, "New Zealand's finest", New Zealand Herald, September 25, 1987)

Filmed on location in the small communities from Tolaga Bay to Ruatoria on the East Coast. Ngati is the first New Zealand feature film ever written and directed by Maori.


North & South Review by Brian McDonnell - October 1987 - For details or copies contact Kakapo Books


VIDEO VAULT - Links to trailers and clips for all titles.

NZ On Screen Videos & Comments

'Kaleidoscope' - Interviews with director Barry Barclay, screenwriter Tama Poata, producer John O’Shea and actor Wi Kuki Kaa

Information at IMDB

Internet Movie Poster Awards


1987 - Cannes Film Festival: Critics Week.
Taormina Film Festival, Italy: Gold Charybdis Award, Best Film.
New Zealand Music Awards: Best Soundtrack, Dalvanius.
1988 New Zealand Listener Film and Television Awards:
Best Film, Best Original Screenplay, Best Male Actor - Wi Kuki Kaa, Best Female Actor - Judy McIntosh.

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